US Attorney Barbara McQuade talks about Kilpatrick sentencing

(WXYZ) - Judge Nancy Edmunds will sentence former Detroit mayor Kwame Kilpatrick for his role in what the feds have called "breathtaking" corruption Thursday at 10 a.m.

Experts expect there will be lengthy arguments from both federal prosecutors and the defense. That means it could take hours before we hear what the judge has decided.

In March, a jury convicted Kilpatrick and his friend Bobby Ferguson on racketeering, bribery and other charges.

On Wednesday, U. S. Attorney Barbara McQuade stopped by to talk to our own Chuck Stokes about a forum that she's hosting October 21, 2013, on "building honest government in Detroit."

"What would be a fair sentence," asked Stokes.

"That's a decision for a judge to make – what a sentence ought to be.  But a sentence needs to reflect the seriousness of the offense, and that message of deterrence so that future political officials think twice before they commit these kinds of crimes.  A good analogy might be speeding.  People are content to speed along on the freeway – if everyone else is doing it and there's no police officer there to police it, people will speed.  But as soon as they see that police officer there, they slow down.  In the same way, I think public officials need to know that if they violate the public trust they're going to get caught and that the penalty is going to be severe," said McQuade.

"What's the lesson for them and what's the lesson for our larger society," asked Stokes.

"I think the lesson for them is that the public is not going to tolerate the kind of greed that they demonstrated during the Kilpatrick so I hope they get that message.  But then I think the bigger picture is what's so important is, deterring that kind of conduct," said McQuade.

You can watch the rest of Chuck's interview on Spotlight on the News, this Sunday at 9:30 a.m.

The leadership forum "Building an Honest and Open Government in Detroit" will be held on Monday, October 21 from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. in the Wayne State University Law School Auditorium.

Stay with WXYZ.com and the 7 Action News Investigators for the latest on the sentencing.  We will be blogging live from federal court Thursday morning at 10:00 a.m.

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